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columnist frank rich. rich dissects what he calls the fantasyland thinking inside the republican party and what it means for the gop moving forward. his thoughts tonight on a number of other issues including the political implications of the david petraeus story and what a second of, term might look like. we're glad you've joined us. a conversation with frank rich coming up right now. >> there is a saying that dr. king had that said there is always the right time to do the right thing. i try to live my life every day by doing the right thing. we know that we are only halfway to completely eliminating hunger and we have work to do. walmart committed $2 billion to fighting hunger in the u.s. as we work together, we can stamp hunger out. >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like
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you. thank you. and tavis: a quick look at what is coming up on this program. actress keira knightley is on. and her film "anna karenina" based on the tolstoy classic. thursday and friday night, a two-part conversation. you do not want to miss this, sally field portrays mary todd lincoln in the new steven spielberg film. we continue our look at the fallout from this year's presidential election with frank rich, the former ku near times
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writer. his piece in the magazine this week is called "fighting sea- fantasyland." he joins us tonight from new york. good to have you back on this program. >> great to be with you as always. thank you. tavis: i would want to start with the news of the day. there is so much news. congress is back in session for this lame duck session as it were. clearly, the top of the agenda for them and i suspect for the nation is how they keep the country from going over what has been referred to as the fiscal cliff. a lot easier to say then sequestration trade your thoughts on how serious both sides have to be or if in fact will be in coming to some grand bargain, some solution. these days following the election. >> they will be fairly serious. the first thing that has to happen is the republicans have to get over their shock of losing an election they thought
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they were going to win. we realize their leverage is rather limited. already we're seeing certainly that in the case of john boehner and the big question for everyone is whether or not he can get his rather radical troops in the house in line. they have to make a deal. they will make a deal. the business community that supports both parties wants a deal. i am hoping that the president will hold to his principles this time and get a deal that is good for the country. the republicans will have to give up a lot. we're seeing signs that they might. >>tavis: you said to three thins that you always do when you open your mouth. let me pick on some things and get you back on package. tell me what you believe republicans will not do the opposite of compromise which is to dig their heels in. when somebody takes this kind of
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shocking, there are two ways to respond, gracefully or arrogant way. pompously. tell me why you believe they are not going to dig their heels in, looking there ones after this election verses compromising and getting along with the president regrets over the long term the me not and they may well dig their heels in. we do not know yet and i cannot predict what will happen. over the short-term, there is too much movement. too much concern essentially from the wall street and the business backers. the people who wrote the checks and road big checks that did not pay off and i do not think they want the stabilization and uncertainty. -- destabilization and uncertainty. the hells could be dug in -- the heels could be dug in by the tea party. some are making noises they do not want to go along with anything.
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boehner is trying to herd them. he felt last time. they're somewhat chastened. they make, with a short-term deal. over the long term, you're right. they will be recalcitrant and feel their principles were not projected and -- were rejected. there will be a long fight and liberals and democrats are kidding themselves if they think otherwise in the flesh of the victory. >> mr. boehner has tried this tack before. what makes you think he will be successful? i hear your point about big business. whether we're talking democratic or republican, what wall street wants, wall street gets much to my chagrin but i digress on that point. what is your sense of how or why this time john boehner will get what he wants but he has not been so successful at keeping his troops in line in the past?
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>> only because it comes off of some substantial loss. not a landslide loss or defeat but a substantial loss and there is a certain amount of shellshocked. i think also, if we come to the point of whether we're jumping off a cliff or in complete gridlock and we have a party and in that situation, i think it is bad for the republican's politically. it is entirely self interest. i do not think they can afford it politically right now. they may feel different when they regroup in three or four months but this immediate flight, i may be deluding myself but i think they're going to come up with a deal. >> maybe the president is deluding himself. it would not, respectfully, be the first time he has done so. part of what got him in trouble in the first place, part of what made this race so close was too many people, progressive saw him too often compromise,
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capitulate, and cave sometimes, even negotiate against himself. republicans figured out that they could push him to the wall on a variety of different friends. why should i believe now that all this and he is good to come out with this samson-like strength and draw a line in the san and fight? i heard you say you hope you'll do that but where is the evidence? why do we believe he will do that? >> i agree with everything you said. i do feel he allowed himself to be rolled, repeatedly. not just an fiscal negotiations but that is why you've got to this mess in the first place. here is what gives me some hope. i may be a pollyanna. the campaign he ran ended up being a much tougher and if i may say so, more ruthless and focused campaign than i expected based on his behavior in office. the behavior that you described. i am lying to believe that this
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is as turning over of the new leaf and for getting this nonsense that we can just wave a magic wand and have bipartisanship and will all get out long -- we will all get along. he is a brilliant guy. on the other hand, people did not change. he likes to be a conciliator and that may yet come to the fore. i think so far at least he is talking a tough line. leaving himself some wiggle room but basically he is saying my principles won. 60% of people who voted for him believe it is time to end tax favors for the rich. unless he is being disingenuous, we have to give them a chance to make good on that. if it does not -- he does not, a bunch of others and you and i will call him on it very fast. >> the deal will happen here not
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because it is not in the national interests with there is some self-interest at play here. these folks do have some skin in the game. there's going to be ideal. let me ask the other question just in case. in case they cannot figure this out, in case there is no grand bargain to the race. what is the damage, what is the impact to the nation? >> everyone will have -- taxes will go up. suddenly you have this bizarre situation where there is this a big cut in defense spending among other things. i happen to believe defense spending should be cut. a lot of people believe that. there is a part of corporate america and the republican party that is not prepared for that. i think it will be very chaotic. it will not be the end of the country. i do not think the stock market will crash. we will not fall into another recession immediately but it
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would be very bad. just the sheer anger in the country in both parties across the board would be huge and unpredictable. tavis: let's talk about this piece you have out which is looking back on the election and looking back on the campaign. you call that fantasyland. tthhe titleth and we'll go inside. >> it was a confirmation that you can live like hell on the public stage and get away with it. all politicians lie. certainly not every ad was truthful or could pass a fact check. we had a candidate in romney who essentially lied constantly. one blogger told more than 900 lives during the course of the campaign. he was a really pale and hollow
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figure. he did get 47% 40 of the boat. which is -- we did not know that somebody could get that far. it is a reflection on the culture that allows us to mythologize general petraeus, lance armstrong, joe paterno. we have seen this all over again but would fall for friction. the other piece of it below is the republican party itself. it is in a fantasyland. it did not believe the polls, instead tried to demonize bolsters including people like the 538 and deny the numbers. there were no numbers in rahm the's economic policy and they .enied climate change
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they drank their own kool-aid and were poisoned by it in the end. tavis: let me start with this, this beautiful phrase that you use that we can so often to fall from fiction. i get that -- i do not get that with lance armstrong. i am not sickened by what he did. i did i get it in our politics because our lives really do depend on these decisions in what clinton. my life does not depend on whether armstrong wins or joe turner of wins another football game. i did i get how and why he is but why, to your mind, are we so gullible and why do we tend to fall for fiction where politics,
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decisions about our lives are concerned? >> you asked a question that is not an old navy and is there has been a destabilization of facts in a record to show a over the past dozen years. a real turning point was when the bush administration to convince americans that the hijackers of 9/11 were iraqis which there were not at -- and that says to dom c├ęzanne -- saddam hussein had weapons. stranget is a phenomenon that we have more sources of information then when you and i were growing up. you can get any newspaper, and the magazine on the web. you can get more documents. this deluge of the information. and yet, we seem to no less. we have the strange phenomenon
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where reality increasingly seems to mean reality tv. it is fun and entertaining but it is a reality. it is staged. is show business. we have a cultural problem which descends the bush administration, iraq went up and rummy's dissembling through the campaign. it is so pervasive that you have a whole political party -- a political party, some of the top commentators simply refuse to believe the evidence in front of them about how this election was e are shocked.e ar if the real -- is a real cultural issue. i do not think there is an easy explanation. >> another thing you said, this
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border who you referenced -- there were the lies romney told. you did not say writer for "the new york times." what has happened where the media and the being composite in these lies that are told because they do not want to check the person was telling a lie. tell me whether or not that has to do with fox wanted to spend its -- to spin its way. but those are -- to those of us do not want to check allies because we do not want to be accused of being partial -- the liberal media bias. to taiex the mail? >> a few brave souls do.
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that said, there are two things going on. the liberal so-called liberal media or mainstream media has been bullied by the facts of this world to filling if they send up and seasoning clearly that question? the other side, they will be massacred for being a liberal. that is that iowa happens. "the new yorke their * = times" did not want to see unpatriotic. maybe they're not for weapons of mass destruction. the other part is particularly in recent years, the downsizing for economic reasons and newstalization of
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organizations, news organizations do not have the personnel, they do not have the boots on the ground where the news is being made. increasingly, they do not even have the infrastructure to respond in a fast way. as i point out in my piece, one of the wettest developments is to find -- fact checking is a side business with independent fact checkers. "the washington post" delegating it to a side column. it used to be that facts were the news. he did not have to go look for elsewhere. you have insecurity and destabilization of the news business that is not helping. tavis: you suggested that both sides live. politicians often do live or
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are footloose and fancy free with the facts. if both sides lie, what is wrong with picking the guy who is telling lies you want to hear or lied about certain things and he is on the right side of the issues. what is wrong with picking a liar who you like the best? >> i think that is a great question. that is what people did. not to equate obama's lying to rummy because romney was in a class by himself in any election cycle. there were things that obama did that played with facts. i have -- that is what happened. as democrats and liberals get excited about the obama victory, they should remember that romney failed i think in part because no one really knew where he stood. while he was lying about his record, lying about obama,
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republicans and democrats this election agreed on one thing. no one could say for sure what' romney was on on any specific point. if he had been a starter candidate, he might have won. if the republican party had a slicker version, more human version of romney, alessa beta version, they might have gone further and won. that was lucky for the democrats. tavis: you have given me a wonderful segue which is now what the future of the gop is. what kind of person into the future, i have -- do they have to put up given the demographic shifts in this country? >> they are running around like chickens with their heads cut off. their first impulse is marco rubio for president because we need latinos and he is a cuban-
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american. that put him up there. i think they're going to have to realize that if they really want to be effective they're going to have to change some policies. they cannot find biffar managers with it -with existing policies. there will have to cling to and believe in their small government believes and what they will do is try to find ways to put a kinder, gentler, ideally for them, hispanic female, african-american faces on the same old same old. they have tried in recent times. the conservative principles, the conservative movement has been pretty resilient. in 1964 after lyndon johnson
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beat barry goldwater, in an enormous landslide, far bigger than obama's victory this month, everyone announced the republican party was dead. the ideas of the great society and liberalism had one. years later, ronald reagan was elected governor of california. four years later, richard nixon was president. they have something the democrats did not have. they have a great post-boomer generation and trade when you think of them, -- a generation. when you think of them, that is a pretty good bench of energetic, slick, youngish politicians. when you are talking about the democratic party you are talking about joe biden and hillary clinton. we might prefer them to the
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republican contenders but that is a different generation. there is not this deep democratic bench. >> mr. obama has won a second term. what is your sense of the kind of legacy that he wants to leave in the second term. is he going to be more progressive. toss me about obama's future right quick. >> -- tell me about obama's feature right quick. >> he wants to have a very free pass toward enactment. he would like to fix the fiscal stuff that is on the table even as we speak. i want to believe but i do not have any reason to believe that he would want part of his legacy to deal with the inequality in this country, the short sick that the middle-class and poor more than you have spoken about have been forgotten.
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they were given some degree of equity and held by our government. whether he is going to do it, i do not know. i would like to think that would be the big picture thing he would work on as well as winding down the road -- a war in afghanistan. tavis: since you are frank rich and i am interested in your opinion, we spent last night tom ricks.roo is there any fallout? >> i do not think there will be any political fallout. even if it happened before the election. if anything he is more admired by republicans than by democrats. it seems to be a personal feeling. it does not seem to involve benghazi. it is a weird story. we're still filling in the pieces. there may be continued embarrassments within the bureaucracy of the cia, the fbi,
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possibly the white house, and possibly congress because we know that there kantor seems to have known what was going on 10 days before. most of the country did. a is -- it seems as we speak a sex scandal which that is mostly titillating but sincerely -- not necessarily political. it gets back to the point. we never -- petraeus was this mythical super hero. to everybody. forget about him having an affair. that happens to lots of people in high places but it seems he was behaving in a somewhat as far as we not irresponsible sort of kuby way -- goopy anway and people witness did as they did lance armstrong and others. tavis: his piece is called
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."antasyland thanks for watching. as always, keep the faith. >> for more information on today's show, visit tavis smiley at tavis: hi, i'm tavis smiley. join me next time for a conversation with oscar nominee keira knightley on "anna karenina." that is next time. we will see you then. >> there is a saying that dr. king had that said there is always the right time to do the right thing. i try to live my life every day by doing the right thing. we know that we are only halfway to completely eliminating hunger and we have work to do. walmart committed $2 billion to fighting hunger in the u.s. as we work together, we can stamp hunger out.
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>> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> be more. pbs.
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Tavis Smiley
PBS November 14, 2012 2:30pm-3:00pm PST

News/Business. Frank Rich. (2012) Frank Rich, New York magazine. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Fantasyland 4, Obama 3, Lance Armstrong 3, Romney 3, Keira Knightley 2, Us 2, New York 2, John Boehner 2, U.s. 2, Clinton 2, Kantor 1, Petraeus 1, Tom Ricks 1, Mr. Boehner 1, Cia 1, Macneil Lehrer 1, Pbs 1, Unpatriotic 1, Obama 's 1, Old Navy 1
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